Khalid Jasim Al Midfa, Sheikh Salim bin Mohammed Al Qassimi, Issa Hilal Al Hazami, and Mr. Ziad Al Sharabi with the winners during the awarding ceremony. Image Credit: Supplied

Sharjah: Ben Clarke, the world number one player in footgolf, was crowned as the winner of the inaugural edition of the Sharjah International Footgolf tournament, held under the patronage of His Highness Sheikh Sultan bin Mohammed bin Sultan Al Qasimi, Crown Prince, Deputy Ruler of Sharjah, and Chairman of the Sharjah Executive Council (SEC), and organised by the Sharjah Commerce and Tourism Development Authority (SCTDA).

The tournament, held in partnership with Air Arabia and Sharjah Sports Council at the Sharjah Golf and Shooting Club, had a participation of more than 130 players from 21 countries around the world.

$40,000 distributed

The awards ceremony was held in the presence of Khalid Jasim Al Midfa, Chairman of the SCTDA; Sheikh Salim bin Mohammed Al Qassimi, Director of SCTDA, HE. Issa Hilal Al Hazami, Chairman of the Sharjah Sports Council, and Mr. Ziad Al Sharabi, General Manager of the Sharjah Golf and Shooting Club. Trophies and total prizes of USD $40,000 were distributed to three winners in the men’s category, three in the women’s category, three in the Senior +45 category, and one winner in the Super Senior +55 category.

During the thrilling event, Samo Marusinec snatched second place in the Men’s category, while Evgenly Levchenko secured third. Dora Kuchta won the title in the women’s category, with Lucia Cermakova placing second and Klaudia Nemcova securing the third spot.

Footgolf is a sport enjoyed by all ages and this was proven with the skills displayed by Zoltan Mayer, who snatched the top spot in the Senior +45 category, with second place secured by Marek Vittek and third place snatched by Peter Zsuppan. Klass Wijers was the winner in the Super Senior +55 category.

Commenting on the tournament, Khalid Jasim Al Midfa, Chairman of the SCTDA, said, “The Sharjah International Footgolf tournament 2023 and the activities held on the sideline have succeeded in strengthening the role of sports in advancing the tourism sector, as this sport has a huge fan base around the world in addition to the players who have a huge following in different media platforms. This makes investments in sports tourism a high priority for the authority, to bolster the emirate’s status and the diverse and comprehensive development of the tourism sector led by His Highness Sheikh Dr. Sultan bin Mohammed Al Qasimi, Supreme Council Member and Ruler of Sharjah.”

Great step

He added, “We are extremely happy to have organised the first-of-its-kind initiative in the region. We are also proud of the contributions of Air Arabia and Sharjah Sports Council in making this sporting event a huge success that reflects the strong bonds and partnerships between various government bodies and organisations. Together we have taken a great step in achieving the goal of enhancing the emirate’s status on the global tourism map, and have highlighted Sharjah’s offerings, making it a unique destination for various forms of tourism. By catering to a diverse range of sectors we provide sustainability in the development process of the emirate, supporting the promotion of Sharjah as an integrated tourist destination with a variety of experiences and multiple destinations that enrich different interests and age groups. The Emirate of Sharjah welcomes the world and its guests throughout the year, offering them all a unique and authentic tourist experience”.

At the end of the ceremony, Al Midfa honoured SCDTA partners, including Air Arabia and Sharjah Sports Council for their contribution to hosting and helping to organise the successful event.